Philpott Named Parade Grand Marshal

Philpott Named Parade Grand Marshal

Posted on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm

By: Kelly Lapczynski, Staff Writer
The Tullahoma News

Tullahoma Realtor Billy Philpott has for years been closely associated with the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, serving for the last six years as parade co-chairman and often seen promoting the event wearing his signature “Christmas hat” – a modified ball cap in the shape of a holiday gift. This year, though, Philpott will don a new hat – that of grand marshal of the parade.

The 60th annual Tullahoma Christmas Parade is set for Friday, Dec. 2, sponsored for the fourth consecutive year by Stan McNabb Automotive Group.

The parade theme this year – “60 Years of Christmas Magic” – highlights events and traditions that represent the six decades since Tullahoma held its first Christmas parade.

It’s fitting, then, that Philpott – named “President and King” of his 1956 graduating class – was chosen to lead the parade that honors every year since his graduation.

Though Philpott did not graduate from Tullahoma High School – he moved to the community from Shelbyville 52 years ago – his wife of 55 years, Bonnie, marched for her high school band in the very first Tullahoma parade, playing the trombone.

When Philpott found out that he had been selected as grand marshal, “Honestly, I was speechless. I was not expecting that at all,” he said. “I was blown away. Humbled.”

“I’ve not been in politics; I’ve not been head of any organization in town,” he said.  But, he said, racking up accomplishments that would make the front page of the newspaper was never his goal.  Instead, he said, it’s his passion, commitment and consistency that define him.

So, in a year that looks back over the last 60, Philpott shared a list of numbers that he said reflect the “things I’ve been committed to, that I’m passionate about.”

Following a two-year stint in the Army, Philpott, a graduate of MTSU’s master’s program, worked for 38 years at AEDC as a data analysis engineer.  For 54 years, he has been a member of his church choir and he served as a Sunday school director for 40 years.

Philpott has spent more than five decades as husband to “a beautiful wife, mother and friend” and 53 of those years as a father.

For 34 years, he’s been known professionally in Tullahoma as a Realtor, currently working in the Tullahoma office of Coffee County Realty & Auction, and he has been a member of the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce for 18 years.

These numbers, Philpott said while mentioning a few more at last Tuesday’s Chamber membership coffee, “define me as a person who is consistent.” They are numbers, he said, that represent his commitment to his family, community, the chamber, his church and his friends.

“If you’re passionate about something, you’re going to be committed to it,” he said.   The commitment Philpott has made to his community, he said, is “to be the best person I can be.”

For the last six years, as co-chairman of the parade committee, Philpott has blown the parade’s official starting horn. This year, while Philpott is serving his ceremonial duties, co-chair Lenore Blackwell will kick off the event.

As grand marshal, Philpott will light the South Jackson Civic Center Christmas tree at 5 p.m. prior to the Dec. 2 parade. The public is welcome and a reception will follow.

Two hours later, at 7 p.m., the Stan McNabb Automotive 60th annual Christmas parade will begin travelling north along Jackson Street., rain or shine.

2016 Parade Information

Floats will be awarded prizes in five categories: Business, Civic/Non-profit, CEO/School, Jingle Bell Music, and the Mayor’s Award.

Entry fees are $40 for all floats and vehicles. The fee is waived for school bands, military drill teams and government vehicles.

Entry forms are due on November 18th by 5:00pm. Any entry submitted after November 18 will pay a $10 late fee.

Parade entry forms are available online ONLY on the Chamber's website here. If you did access to a computer, stop by the Chamber for assistance in completing the form. 

For questions or more information, visit the main Christmas Parade page or call the Chamber at (931) 455-5497.